Scott and Deirdre Gurney, the founders of Gurney Productions, are facing a lawsuit from ITV America for fraud and breach of contract. The duo from the company responsible for A&E hit show Duck Dynasty was fired on Thursday.
A Gurney Productions spokesperson gave this statement on Friday: "Following a meeting with Scott and Deirdre Gurney, the Board of Gurney Productions has been left with no alternative but to terminate their employment and file a lawsuit in the Superior Court of California on the grounds of self-dealing, fraudulent concealment and breach of contract."
According to the court documents, the Gurneys were caught in the act of double dipping from two companies they were invoved with.
The complaint says that there were "unauthorized distributions to Scott Gurney, and numerous misrepresentations and active concealments by the Gurneys to the Board."
“After the Gurneys sold a majority interest in the Company to ITV and promised, among other things, not to compete with the Company while they were employed by the Company, the Gurneys secretly formed a new production company that they owned and controlled, Snake River Productions, LLC."
“They formed Snake River as part of an unlawful plan to misappropriate the Company’s corporate opportunities for themselves and to artificially inflate the Company’s EBITDA,” the complaint says. “By engaging in these wrongful activities, the Gurneys sought to generate profits for themselves at the expense of the Company and ITV and also sought to defraud ITV by securing a substantially higher payout for themselves and their closely held company, Little Win LLC when ITV bought them out.”
Gurney Productions was bought out back in December of 2012, according to Deadline.
Discovery series Northern Territory lies at the heart of the dispute with ITV. The Gurneys reportedly snatched the rights for international distribution for the show from their old company. They were setup to make a substantial amount of money after trying to pull off a $3.53 million sleight of hand.
In the interim period, 5x5 Media's Craig Armstrong was appointed to the role of CEO for Gurney Productions. From the looks of things, Armstrong will be needed for much longer than anticipated given the new details that have come to light about the Gurneys fraud lawsuit.
What are your thoughts about Gurney Productions founders being sued for fraud?